A major switch in the career can be challenging, especially when taking a decision to shift one’s passion into a profession. Chhitiz Bahety, currently in his mid-20s, is a student of computer engineering. He is also the creative director and co-founder of Dropout Media and Events Pvt. Ltd. It has not been long since he developed his passion for photography. However, he expresses that it was more of a quick decision to take photography professionally.
For Chhitiz, the composition is a vital key in photography. It’s not about using a DSLR, blurring the background or bringing the main object on focus. For him, more than gears if the right composition, lights, and color scheme are captured within a frame, then that’s good photography. He believes one doesn’t really need sophisticated gears for the learning phase of photography. Particularly at this time when mobile photography is gaining popularity. He is himself is working with a second-hand camera and is completely fine with the results.
How and when did your photography journey begin?
Frankly speaking, I never had any interest in photography before. Almost three years ago, during my long semester break, I had nothing productive to do. I happened to watch a YouTube video of Peter Mckinnon with the title “How to make your boring photos look interesting”. The video was all about photography hacks so I had an old digital camera and decided to give some try on it.
I don’t know if I can call this synchronicity, but when I called a friend of mine to tell about what I had learned he also happened to watch the same video a few days ago. He had bought a new phone with a good camera, so we went to a place nearby and clicked some photos from the hacks that we’ve learned. Slowly after that point, my interest in photography grew more and more.
At what point did you decide to take photography as a profession? How have you been integrating different genres of your works?
It hadn’t occurred to me, even subconsciously, to think about photography as a profession. Although I did prefer being more creative. It all began as a passion for me and it hasn’t even been quite long since I started. All I had been doing, in the beginning, was clicking photos for myself and my Instagram feed. During the same time, I got involved with Mero 2 Paisa’s podcast as a co-founder.
When my work with the podcast began, all I knew back then was that this is going to be completely different from my engineering background. Later for the sake of sustainability, almost a year ago, we established a company named Dropout Media and Events. Our company began taking work from the client(s) that included making websites and apps for them and also the creation and production of contents, photos or otherwise. That’s when both my academic knowledge and passion got fused into a profession.
What sort of genre you like to work on and what’s your idea of adding the potion of creativity to it?
At first, I clicked very random photos, anything that would seem to blend well into a frame and posted them. At times, I added some drama to it, to make it look more like a screenshot of a film scene.
About my idea of creativity, it is a depiction of the dreams that I see in my photos. This I don’t really explain to people, because it sounds somewhat creepy for me to do so. But you know how some dreams look so mystic and faded, that’s what I try to bring in reality through my photos.
How do you decide on the content for your Instagram and likewise keep them managed to your feed?
Since I started this professionally, I used Instagram as my portfolio. At first, I used to wander around the streets for more photos with my old digital camera. Gradually, I focused on storytelling. Rather than posting them on my Instagram feed, I started posting them on my Instagram stories as a photoblog.
But back then, I didn’t even have proper camera tools in the beginning. I used anything that came in handy, as a prop. I would just go to certain places and observe things around then decide on a particular theme and start capturing. Simultaneously, I sometimes call my friends to ask them to pose for my photos to upload them on my feed. And sometimes I also upload a few travel photos. For now, it’s been a while since I have posted a photoblog. But I am very frequent with posting my feed photos these days.
How do you expect your content to influence and encourage your followers towards photography?
I honestly don’t think it from that angle. But yes, I do get lots of DMs on Instagram with a positive response for what I do and it feels good. And if anyone asks for tips or wants to learn some ideas from me, I do share it and guide them. Having said that I don’t wish to increase more fan following just so that more people would approach me for instructions. In Nepal’s context, what I feel is creators don’t really have that bigger fan following that is why it makes me more than happy to just share.
What are your recommendations to begin with photography for entrepreneurship?
What I think is that if anyone is to start photography directly with the ambition to earn money it might to some extent not be fulfilling. It’s tough to earn from photography as a beginner. Having said that, to include art with entrepreneurial skills is mandatory.
But first, you gotta take it slow to polish your skills. And if you get noticed for your work or the opportunity to grow, you must be able to grab it. Likewise, art in photography is necessary but so is professionalism. When you work with a client, chances are that pleasing them with your work will be hectic and challenging. It could be struggling to cope with your own creativity and the client’s idea. It is better not to have a mindset to get involved with the art just for the sake of earning money.